Tag Archives: Dessert

Pumpkin Muffins

7 Dec

A few weeks ago some friends of ours were in town from DC running the NYC Marathon. They are both supporters/fans of my blog (Thanks Cole + Larissa!) and Larissa asked me, “So, when you are done with your apple phase are you going to do a lot of pumpkin recipes?”

YES.

Pumpkins are one of the most versatile vegetables. I personally love me a good sweet pumpkin soup with some salty crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds on top. And, I’ve already shared my favorite Pumpkin Scones recipe with you.  And then there’s breads and muffins and pumpkin pie milkshakes which I recently discovered while perusing AmyBlogsChow Stupidly Simple Snacks (who I recently met at this Foodspotting event), which I have yet to try but its on my list of top five things to do when I get settled in our new apartment.

So, the next pumpkin recipe I’m going to share with you is Pumpkin muffins! Perfect pumpkin muffins! Amazingly moist and topped with a bit of cinnamon sugar! And I made them mini, which makes it hard for anyone to stop eating them, especially when Jay has two hungry male poker friends in town from Canada. They were gone…very quickly.

 

Pumpkin Muffins

via Muffintop from Gourmet

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ginger

pinch of cloves

pinch of allspice

1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°. Put liners in muffins cups or grease them.

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, spices, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Stir together cinnamon and remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl.

Divide batter among muffins cups (each should be 3/4 full), then sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden pick stuck into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let them cool some more or eat ’em while they’re hot!!

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…And we’re back (with Mini Mincemeat Pies)

4 Dec

 

 

Hello friends! Please ‘scuse my lack of post for the past…how long has it been? Twelve days? Unacceptable. The dog ate my recipes.

 

Actually, my real excuse is that I am in the process of moving. Moving is already hell on earth, and just to take it to the next level, we [long story short(er)] also could not find a place we liked by the time our lease was up, and have been staying at a Hotel Toshi sublet(s) in Williamsburg for the past week. So, we’ve been moving around a lot and our stuff is split between two different locations and a million different boxes and bags right now, but I am thrilled to say that we (fingers crossed) will be moving into a great place we found in a condo-style building next week.

Oh yeah, and then there was Thanksgiving. The first one I ever cooked on my own since I was in NYC instead of with family this year due to see above. Rather than having the time to blog about my Thanksgiving recipes, I found myself quickly understanding what my mother talks about when she claims to be “cooking up a storm” or “slaving over a hot stove”.

I cooked for 36 hours straight, with an 8 hour sleep break. The Final Menu:


Rosemary + Sage Turkey with Gravy

Chestnut, Apple + Cranberry Stuffing with Fennel

Slow-Cooked Cranberry Chutney with Mandarin Oranges

Harvest Hash with Butternut Squash + Parsnips

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon  + Shallots

Buttermilk + Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

 

Dessert:

Mini Mincemeat Pies

Molasses Pumpkin Pie

Apple Pie

Pecan Pie

 

As you can see, I went with a pretty traditional menu this year, unlike the love of my life Samantha of Krauted Haus, whose amazing Thanksgiving menu you should check out here. I also wanted to keep it as close to what I usually eat on Thanksgiving as possible (my mom’s menu was relatively similar to mine). Everything came out really good, with only a few changes I would make next time, which I will share as I share my recipes.  Maybe stuffing is not a dish for non-Thanksgiving occasions, but hopefully you can use some of these other recipes over the holidays! And, there’s always next year…

And now: Holiday recipe #1. Mincemeat Pies. This is a love it or hate it kind of thing. I love it. My grandparents are (were?) British, and although I never got used to Christmas Pudding (I only ever ate it as a kid for the dimes, which I always thought were for heat retention when you light it, but I guess its because it is believed to bring wealth in the coming year), I did develop a taste for mincemeat, which is made of similar ingredients but minus the booze and the lighting it on fire, which is really what gives Christmas pudding it’s distinct taste. Plus mincemeat is super sweet, which helps.

Originally, mincemeat was composed of 13 ingredients, including minced meat, suet, fruits and spices. The standard version you’d find in North America today contains no meat. Interestingly enough, mincemeat has a bit of controversial history due to its strong connection with Catholicism in England. Puritans were opposed to eating it, and it was banned during the English Civil War along with various other Catholic traditions. In fact, the reason it contained 13 ingredients initially was to represent Jesus and his 12 apostles.

 

Luckily its 2010.

 

Mini Mincemeat Pies

From The Joy of Baking

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/8 cup to 1/4 cup ice water

1 cup mincemeat

1 egg mixed with one teaspoon water for egg wash

 

In a food processor, place the flour, salt and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 seconds. Pour 1/8 cup ice water in a slow, steady stream into mixture until the dough just sticks together when pinched. If necessary, add more ice water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Cut the ball in half and flatten each half into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Have redy 24 mini muffin tins. After the dough has chilled, place one of the disks of pastry on a lightly flour surface. Roll out the pastry dough until about 1/8 inch thick and cut into 24 rounds that are slightly bigger than the muffin tins. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll, and always roll from the center of the dough outwards.Gently place the rounds into the muffin tins and form them to the tin. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each cup and set aside.

Next, roll out the second piece of pastry to 1/8 thick. If you have cookie cutters, you can cut them into a shape of your choice such as stars or leafs, but I didn’t have any, so I just cut into strips and latticed it.

Finally, brush the pastries with a bit of egg wash and sprinkle them with granulated sugar. Bake about 10-15 minutes or until the pastry turns amber brown. Remove and cool on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.


Honey + Lavender Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker)

22 Nov

I can’t tell you how many times in the past few years I have stumbled upon some amazing ice cream recipe while browsing Epicurious and my favorite blogs only to remember that I DON’T HAVE AN ICE CREAM MAKER. That Apple Fritters with Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream recipe that’s been floating around lately? Nope, sorry Chelsea. A nice pink batch of Peppermint-Stick Ice Cream for the holidays? Guess I’ll have to wait until AFTER the holidays are over (that is, after I’ve unwrapped my gifted ice cream maker) to try that.

Well, no longer. Because I have discovered a recipe (via Kevin and Amanda’s blog – no I do not know them) for ice cream without an ice cream maker!! Its not exactly the same, but it certainly tastes close enough!! Although the recipes that they suggest look delicious (um, Krispy Kreme Ice Cream, anyone?), I decided to make Honey and Lavender ice cream after seeing some fresh lavender at the market. This made quite a large batch – we even still have some left in the freezer that gets stuck with a large spoon every couple of nights.

Honey + Lavender Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker)

Adapted from Kevin and Amanda

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 handfuls fresh lavender

2 tablespoons honey

Whip the cream until stiff.  Melt butter in small saucepan and add lavender. Cover and simmer on low heat about 25 minutes. Place a bowl under a mesh strainer to collect butter but separate lavender. Discard leaves. Stir lavender butter and honey into condensed milk. Fold in the whipped cream. Freeze 6 hours or overnight and enjoy!


Pumpkin Scones

15 Oct

Pumpkin season has finally arrived. That means its time for pumpkin soups, pumpkin breads, pumpkin cookies…not to mention JACK O’ LANTERNS and Halloween.  One of my favorite pumpkin recipes (okay, my favorite, by far) is Pumpkin scones.  At the risk of sounding like an upper-middle class suburban (or in my case, urban) white chick, you know it’s Fall when the pumpkin scones hit the Starbucks. This recipe is supposedly the one they use! I have made it at least a dozen times now, and they are better every time. And always a hit for Thanksgiving brunch (or any brunch for that matter). I highly recommend using the spiced glaze. Just run for an extra ten minutes. 🙂

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones

From Food.com

Ingredients

Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour

7 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

6 tablespoon cold butter

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

3 tablespoons half-and-half

1 large egg

Spiced Glaze

1 cup + 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pinch ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Cut butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and there are no large chunks of butter  (I generally use my hands for this part). Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form into a ball. Pat out onto a large floured surface and form into a 1 inch thick rectangle, 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. Use a large knife to cut diagonally into 6 triangles (or more, depending on the size you want – I generally make 12 small scones with this recipe). Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes. (For the smaller ones, it will be more like 9-11 minutes.) Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

For the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, spices, and 2 tablespoons milk together until smooth.  Use a brush to paint over the scones, or use a frosting decorator or a bit of wax paper folded into a cone to decorate them more carefully.

You can wait for the glaze to harden up, but personally I like my scone and glaze still warm.

MELTS. IN. YOUR. MOUTH.

 

Crispy-Sticky Oatmeal Cranberry Coconut Cookies

27 Aug

This recipe came from making tons of tons of batches of chocolate-lace cookies, getting sick of the chocolate, trying different fillings, omitting the filling altogether, to finally adding some ingredients to the cookie itself.  What I LOVE about chocolate lace cookies is the thin, cripsy-sticky “outer” part of them, so it just made sense to keep that as the cookie base, rather than use a classic oatmeal, which tends to more of a “cakey” cookie.

Crispy-Sticky Oatmeal Cranberry Coconut Cookies

Ingredients

2/3 cup butter

2 cups quick oats, uncooked

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup flour

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup dried, dried shredded coconut

Prehat oven to 375°. Melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Mix in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix well. Fold in cranberries and coconut.

Drop level teaspoons onto a foil lined baking sheet approximately 3 inches apart. Flatten each cookie with a rubber spatula. Bake 5-7 minutes. Let cool 10 mins, then peel cookies from foil and enjoy!

My next experiment: Putting vanilla bean ice cream between 2 of them!!

Crêpes with Brandy

22 Jul

I’ve always try to avoid crêpes.  Making them myself, that is. I have no problem stopping in at La Crêpe Parisienne and trading a few bucks to have a perfectly flat, sweet, and lightly crisped crêpe made up for me within minutes.  But it’s tough to get them just right.  Its easy to end up with tiny chunks of flour, or to pour them just a little bit too thick in the pan (or too thin for that matter).

This recipe suggested putting the ingredients into a blender, and that solved the problem of the chunks of flour.  It also contains 1/2 cup brandy, which makes the mixture blend a bit better and makes the consistency more smooth.  Plus, having a bit of brandy in your breakfast on a Sunday morning never hurt anyone.

Breakfast Crêpes

From Epicurious

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole milk

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Scant 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

In a blender, combine milk and eggs. Mix on medium-high speed until foamy, about 10 seconds. Turn blender to low speed and remove feed top. With blender going, add sugar and salt. Replace feed top and blend on high speed for a few seconds, then turn blender back to low. In the same manner, add butter, brandy, and vanilla, replacing feed top and blending for several seconds after each addition. Turn blender off. Add flour all at once and blend until just combined.

Place crêpe pan over moderately high heat. With flexible spatula, spread a tiny amount of butter in pan (an alternative method is to brush the pan with melted butter using a pastry brush) and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into the pan. As you pour, quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread a thin layer of batter across the bottom. Pour in just enough batter to cover the pan.

Cook crêpe over moderately high heat until bubbles just begin to form on the exposed surface, about one to two minutes. Lift up the edge to check the cooking process — if the crêpe starts to burn before it is cooked through, turn down the heat. If it is not nicely browned after two minutes, turn up the heat.

When underside of crêpe is browned, flip and cook another minute or less, until other side is browned. Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven, loosely covered with foil.

Grease pan with a very small amount of butter and repeat process. Continue until all batter is used, stacking cooked crêpes on a plate in the oven. To serve, sprinkle each crêpe with the toppings of your choice: sugar (granules or powder), berries, bananas, nutella, nuts.

Momofuku Crack Pie

2 May

I discovered this dessert on a date night a few months back.  We decided to eat at Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and so we went, of course, to Milk Bar for Dessert.  I had heard about the pie before, there were various tv personalities and celebrities who raved about it.  Their other trademark is Cereal Milk Ice Cream (corflake cereal milk to be exact), which is probably a love it or hate it kind of thing, but i love it.

The crack pie is displayed in the glass cases amongst various other desserts: the compost cookie (pretzels, chocolate chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, potato chips), grasshopper pie (graham crust, mint cheesecake & brownie filling)…I can’t even bear to go on without getting up, putting on my sandals and going there right now.

Anyway, Jay’s birthday was coming up so I decided it was the perfect thing to make.  Finding the recipe wasn’t hard, it never really is in the age of Google.  I used a recipe I found in the LA Times, which made two pies. Since each slice of this aptly-named dessert has 432 calories, I used half the filling and put the other half in the freezer.  The first pie I made came out perfectly: after about 4 hours in the fridge the consistency was perfect, gooey but firm, the way pecan pie is. I had major issues with the second one.  I took the filling out of the freezer earlier in the day, let it thaw, mixed it well, and cooked the pie at the same temperature for the same amount of time.  But hours after being in the fridge, it was still overly liquidy and all of the butter gathered in one area of the pie and hardened.  I’m not sure what happened, I guess my best recommendation is Don’t Freeze the Filling.

Momofuku Crack Pie

Courtesy of LA Times

Servings: Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)

Note: Adapted from Momofuku. This pie calls for 2 (10-inch) pie tins. You can substitute 9-inch pie tins, but note that the pies will require additional baking time, about 5 minutes, due to the increased thickness of the filling.

Cookie for crust

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar

3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar

1 egg

Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy

4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.

Crust

Crumbled cookie for crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

Filling

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar

3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

3/4 cup plus a scant 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

2 prepared crusts

Powdered sugar, garnish

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.

4. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells.

5. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.